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Sandos Caracol Eco Resort
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Reviewed February 13, 2013

Visited the Sandos Caracol Eco resort Jan 28 to Feb 10. Booked with Westjet vacations. Transfer from airport to and from with no hassles. Flight was good both ways, except no satellite TV service once out of Canadian airspace, so limited to 3 movies, but got some reading done.
The check in at the hotel was also painless. Stayed in Select Club which was right near the lobby area. Room was clean, not musty and in good condition. Beds were good, pillows no problems like I read with other reviews. Rooms were cleaned daily and minibar restocked daily.
Instant coffee and tea in room, along with hot/cold water dispenser which was nice that you didn't have to leave the room to get a coffee. Bottle of vodka, rum, tequilia and champagne were in the room upon our arrival along with fruit plate.
Did not spend any time at the adults only pool, TOO boring for my taste. Spent all the time at the beach.
Walk to the beach took about 5-10 mins, depending on the route we took. Great walk either way. Saw alot of mapache, 1 monkey, lizards sunning themselves and staff always greeted us with smiles and HOLA's.
Beach chairs were plentiful. If you want the PRIME chairs, be at the beach prior to 8 am, as they go quickly and there are only about 10 canopy beds, about a dozen single "bean bag" type beds and about 4 double beds. There are palapas on the beach, but again limited number. The beach club house opens at 8 am daily, where you can have fruit, cereal, toast, champagne and OJ for breakfast. The TOWEL GAME is played, but I found it very relaxing to go to the beach early and read before it got too busy. Very quiet in the adults area as no children are allowed in this area. They can however swim in the area and play on the beach, which was fun to watch. Topless sunbathing is allowed, for those of you who don't care for that, stay at the pools. They have vendors that roam the beach, but a polite NO and they leave you alone. There is a small tent area on the side of the beach that has massages, hair braiding, 1 vendor and a tour/seadoo vendor that you can purchase if you want.
The clubhouse has EXCELLENT staff that are always willing to help. The bartender Yovanni (Sorry if mispelled) and Elena were very friendly, always smiling and Elena would bring you drinks all day long with A SMILE AND WONDERFUL ATTITUDE. The clubhouse has internet available upstairs with a pool table and TV, and a smalll library of books too.
There is a 24 hr snackbar with food and drink near the lobby, There is a jewellery store and souviener shop also. There is a sports bar with air hockey, pool table, foosball as well. There are 2 buffet resturants (one mexican, one variety). The selection is small and I found the Mexican one had the same foods every night. Wait staff at both buffets were friendly and pleasant.
Mapache (look like racoons) were plentiful around the snackbar and can be seen in every garbage can in the area.
We went to 4 a la carte resturants (Japanese, Mediterranian, Brazil and Italian) all of which were EXCELLENT meals and again the wait staff were tremendous.
There were mosquitos on the beach, repellant is available, but I chose not to use it. I got about 2 bites a day on the beach, but not any off the beach.
Saturdays are vendor days, where locals bring in their crafts to sell. There is a night show every night, but we did not view any of them, so cannot comment. Did not have children with us, so did not use the kids club, aqua park or the main pool area, but they all seemed quite busy.
Did 2 tours Xcaret and Tulum 1/2 day with 1/2 day at Atkumal beach. Guides for the Tulum Atkumal beach were very knowledgable and informative (Juan Raymonde and Juan, with Pedro driving). Xcaret night show was great, there is alot of walking to do there, with plenty of attractions to spend a day there.
As for timeshares, we were called once at 8 am on the day after arrival. I ignored the phone call and was never bothered again. They did leave notes on our door stating that they wanted to give us discounts and weekly schedule for the resort. Went to guest services and were told that they just wanted us to have a tour of resort, which we declined and were never bothered again.
This resort was well kept. VERY FRIENDLY staff from wait staff, housekeeping, security. etc always smiling and say HOLA. Some spoke better english than others, but language was NEVER a barrier. I felt very safe and went on solo walks around the resort at night without ever feeling afraid or leary.
I would recommend this resort, I would not return just because I never travel to the same place twice, I like to see what else is out there.
Hope this review was helpful.

Room Tip: Select club is furthest from the beach between 10-15 min walk depending on your route. But the walk is nice.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank BeachFan163
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

My family of 5 so enjoyed our stay. With children 12, 9, & 7, this resort was ideal, snacks 24/7. Food was excellent, all restaurants. Hotel had lost our reservation for, so needless to say this was a bad first impression' therefore we gave the timeshare rep no time. Eventually we were given a room, which was dirty and a far hike to the beach for a 2 week stay. After several trips to reception we were moved to a better location and better room, and enjoyed the duration of the stay. Staff is extremely friendly and helpful, and they work very hard, thank you. To many guests taking advantage of their efforts, so do tip. Thanks to Naome at the front desk as well as the others who helped us get settled. So loved having the jungle around us, woke to a monkey on the balcony. Evening shows were very entertaining. We were never bored. Disappointed with the ocean access at the resort, lots of rock. Over all was great in large part to the staff, thank you sandos. The LaToskys, Tappen, BC

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Murray L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Vacationed at Sandos Caracol between January 24th - 31st, this was my families second time around (we are a group of 10) While we were extremely happy to be back, we did noticed changes from our last trip - some good, some bad. We were in 3713, 3714, 3814 & 3821 - located by the lagoon.

First off we know how to have a good time on vacation and will not be nit picking over every little thing (as many do on this site) we actually know how to have a good time.

The good..
First we would like to thank Nora Naumann at guest services who helped us make dinner reservations prior to our arrival for a surprise Birthday dinner. Also Thanks to Juanito & Naomi in La Laguna restaurant - they took very good care of us each and every time. The staff overall are all very friendly and happy to help you... please let us remind everyone that a dollar goes a long way... yes you have "prepaid" for this trip but these people work very hard and are still providing a service to you.. are they not?

Security - no shortage of security on hand - even at night which put us at ease knowing they take the necessary precautions.

As for food we have no complaints, our main spot La Laguna (lots of variety) - we tried the Steakhouse (very impressive) Brazilian (great for meat lovers) and the Mediterranean (Very Satisfying), La Mascaras Mexican Buffet very nice as well and lastly the Italian Restaurant for the breakfast buffet - also very impressive but our hearts were at La Laguna.

Room Service was always on point - housekeeping ladies were very friendly and did a thorough job - we liked the little touches such as animal towels. The minibar restocker was also quick to respond to our requests with a smile. Again all please remember a dollar goes a long way.

Bell Boys - all very friendly and quick to get you a cab to where you need to go, eventually the bellboy recognized our group and very eager to help us at all times - even helped us find our regular driver named Adrian - who was very friendly and accommodating. If you have a big group with you I'd highly recommend him!

Beach / Pool / Aqua Park / Lagoon - The Beach was nice, a bit rocky in the water at first but nothing you can't handle - it may be a bit of a walk depending on where your room is located but what's a few minutes, and with all the eating it doesn't hurt to get a bit of exercise - this didn't bother us (keep in mind we are a group of 10). We didn't find it to hard to find seats together. The Aqua park is great for kids, also equipped with snack bar and swim up bar for adults so we didn't mine hanging out there for some time. The Lagoon was a nice touch, that wasn't available for swimming on our last visit so it was very nice to have this time, they offer goggles and life vests and there is also a dock to sit on and relax.

Kids club - my sister enjoyed this you are able to drop off your kids for an hour or so to play and they give you buzzer that will ring if there is an emergency. The kids had tons of fun and enjoyed the different activities.

Entertainment / Theatre - the shows have definitely upgraded and the kids had a great time with the Disney show - the theatre is open afterwards with the DJ and it's nice to have a few drinks and dance - while the kids run around having a good time too.


The "Bad"

We weren't fully informed of all the changes that had been made - we were never told of the nightly disco in the new "Royal Elite" Building - that would have been nice to know for us Adults.
We weren't informed that the Steak House was also moved to the Royal Elite building...there was about 20 people looking for this restaurant and it didn't help that the Maps have not been updated - we were walking in circles for quite some time, please update maps ASAP.
We do understand this is an "Eco" resort but the Raccoon situation needs to be addressed ASAP and put under control - on our last visit we did notice Raccoons around - they were mainly on the grass and didn't bother many people but this time around.. as soon as night fell you could see them running through the resort mainly in the Snack Bar Area and the La Mascaras. The Raccoons have no problem going into the snack bar.. jumping on tables where families are eating and trying to get food right off your plate - we even witnessed a raccoon bite a lady on her foot - it was a small nibble but that is still wrong. They also jump into the trash cans and scavenge through the garbage.

Another thing that bothered us was the time share pitch at the beginning.. it isn't presented as a timeshare pitch but more so a "tour" of the new Royal Elite section but beware they request credit card information as well as a deposit per adult - once we found that out we immediately said we weren't interested - they did a follow up call and we said the same. So for those who don't want to be bothered with this just tell them upfront you are not interested - it's not worth the 30% discount at the spa they offer - OR if you do want the discount just be well aware what you are getting into.

Lastly we are disappointed that the free shuttle to Playa has stopped - that was a very nice touch and as a large family we really appreciated having that free service. Is there a reason why it was terminated? It definitely made our trip much easier the last time around - would be something to considering bringing back.

Overall we still enjoyed staying at this resort and enjoyed ourselves very much because we were on vacation! We are considering returning because the good outweighs the bad in many ways.

And to Mr. Ramirez our sincerest apology we weren't able to make it to the appreciation dinner...had we known where the new Royal Elite building was we could have made it.

Thanks

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Melissa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Its a shame that this nice installation is sort of a very insufficient .....floor ground rooms are full off Mosquitos .....some people's like the lady who receives people for breakfast in the Italian restaurant is very nice and Naomi in the reception...excellent ....but a lot others just do their jobs...more badly than good
Beach..a lot of stones..the dinning restaurants..food mostly over salted..
The Sandos playacar is much much better in my opinion....by far

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
8  Thank BenoA_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We have been on many trips to Mexico and this resort is definitely is one of the better ones. We had 50 people in our party as my daughter got married there. I definitely would like to say we didn't have to worry about the wedding. Fernanda (the wedding co-ordinater) did a great job with the wedding. The food was great we did the steak house which was right beside the venue for the beach wedding. Definitely a great upgrade. The staff at the resort we great also. The snack bar is where everyone hung out at night. Roy was our bartender (great guy). The food at the snack bar is really good. The swim up bar area was a great time also. The resort is big and lots to do if you are looking for activities. There is also a sports bar with pool tables and ping pong and chess, lots to keep kids or adults busy. The disco was a great also and we had lots of fun there. We didn't have any young kids, but we went by the kids area and WOW if we did that looked like alot of fun. The only down side i can think of is the beach area is very rocky so bring water shoes, the water was warm but rocky and not really swimable and a couple of our guests had bug bites, but that was to be expected at an eco resort. They do have bug lotion at most of the restaurants just outside. So bring afterbite and something for itching and have fun. I think this resort was really nice and i would go back, there is something for everyone and if you don't have fun its your own fault.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Susan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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